Researchers have found that those with Crohn’s disease have a distinct difficulty absorbing fat soluble vitamins, including vitamin D. These individuals have therefore tend to be very prone to vitamin D deficiency - especially those individuals living in the Northeast or who
Taking a Vitamin D supplement like NutraMeterix Isotonix Vitamin D, which contains vitamin D3 and the fat soluble vitamin K2, may prove to be beneficial in individuals with Crohn's disease and many other gastrointestinally challenged patients.
Source: Use of a novel vitamin d bioavailability test demonstrates that vitamin D absorption is decreased in patients with quiescent crohn's disease
This recipe is from a friend of mine, and is sure to please anyone's taste buds! Let me know what you think...
Kristy's Mexican Lasagna
2 - 3 La Tortilla Factory Tortillas - any flavor you like!
Amy's Low Sodium Refried Black Beans
1 Diced Green Pepper
1 Diced Onion
8 ounces Ground Turkey/Shredded Chicken Breast/Lean Ground Beef - you decide!
1 jar Salsa - All-natural
3/4 cup Low-fat Mozzarella Cheese
And any other veggies you want to add! ( I like broccoli and spinach)
Non-fat Plain Greek yogurt -
Layer 2-3 tortillas in a large casserole dish (Depending on size of dish) to cover the bottom. Spread with Refried Beans. Brown meat of your choice and top beans with 1/3 of meat. Sprinkle with diced peppers and onions (you can saute these for a great flavor if you'd like as well!), 1/3 jar of salsa and 1/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese. Layer with 2-3 more tortillas and repeat above. Finish with final layer of tortillas, salsa and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until heated through. For more great flavor, you can add a dollop of non-fat plain Greek yogurt on top! Enjoy! :)
Do you have annoying and sometimes painful leg cramps? Do you have trouble sleeping?
If so, there is a possibility this could be due to a magnesium deficiency. This common deficiency can manifest itself in more than just leg cramps. Low levels of magnesium have been associated with increased states of inflammation which has been shown to affect a myriad of different tissues including cardiovascular, intestinal and neuronal.
In addition, this chronic inflammation, as it may affect the central nervous system, can also affect sleep patterns. A recent research study found a possible association between magnesium status and sleep quality.
To ensure that your body has enough magnesium to keep your bones healthy and to prevent deficiency, you must meet the daily recommendations for magnesium set by the Food and Nutrition Board. Recommendations for magnesium vary based on age and sex. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 require 80 mg of magnesium per day, while children between 4 and 8 need 130 mg daily. Children from 9 to 13 should consume 240 mg daily. Female teenagers between 14 and 18 should consume 360 mg per day, whereas male teenagers of the same age require 410 mg of magnesium. Adult women between 19 and 30 should consume 310 mg, and adult men of the same age should consume 400 mg. Adult women over the age of 30 require 320 mg daily, whereas men of the same age need 420 mg daily.
When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, her needs for various vitamins and minerals may increase. To keep her bones healthy, a pregnant woman age 18 and younger should aim to consume 400 mg of magnesium per day. A pregnant woman between 19 and 30 requires 350 mg, and a pregnant woman over 30 needs 360 mg daily.
A women age 18 and younger who is breastfeeding requires 360 mg of magnesium per day. A breastfeeding woman between 19 and 30 needs 310 mg, and a breastfeeding woman over 30 requires 320 mg.
The biggest contributors of magnesium in American diets are whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables with the most magnesium include spinach, okra, Swiss chard, apricots, avocado and bananas. Other good sources of magnesium include milk, yogurt, meat and eggs.
To ensure you are getting enough of both Calcium and magnesium per day, I recommend taking a synergistic supplement, which means the supplement contains a blend of vitamins and minerals for maximum absorption. NutraMetrix Isotonix Calcium Complete provides the body with an optimal blend of calcium (750mg), vitamin D3 (1,000mg), magnesium (200mg), vitamin C (58mg) and boron (1mg) in an efficient isotonic solution that is readily absorbed by the body.
Supplementation for a Healthier You
Many experts suggest that supplements aren’t necessary when the diet is complete. Unfortunately in North America, the diet is pretty much never complete. Can you believe that 68% of the population is deficient in calcium, 90% in chromium, 75% in magnesium, 80% in vitamin B6, and 95% in omega-3 fats?
In fact, in a recent study, even athletes’ diets didn’t measure up. In this study, the diets of 70 athletes were analyzed for vitamin and mineral intake and not a single one met the recommended daily amount. All of them were deficient in between 3 and 15 nutrients.
Beyond this, other research has shown the following:
· Less than 3% of men and 5% of women get the minimum number of fruits and veggies per day (3-5 servings).
· On average, women get only 80 g of protein per day (when their needs are closer to 120-140 g) and men get only 120 g of protein per day (when their needs are closer to 170-190 g).
I’m definitely not one to promote unnecessary nutritional supplementation. However, with the deficiencies above, folks have to either improve their food intake tremendously or they have to start supplementing their diets with things like:
1. A good, broad spectrum multi-vitamin: I prefer Isotonic supplements due to their superior delivery and absorption. These supplements are drinkable, you absorb 95% of what you are taking, and it is absorbed within 5 minutes. (Compare this to the pill form supplements – absorption may take up to 4 hours and typically only absorb 15-30% of what you think you are getting!)
2. Fish oil supplements – Omega III especially: Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, protects the heart and overall cardiovascular health, maintains healthy levels of C-reactive protein, promotes a healthy complexion, and enhances mood. 4-6 capsules a day is typical for my clients.
3. B - Complex: Deficiencies in Folic Acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 or biotin may result in feelings of fatigue. Adequate levels will decrease stress and improve mood, increase energy, promote cardiovascular health, promote normal cognitive performance, and much more! Again, Isotonic supplements are best.
4. Vitamin D: A deficiency in this supplement has been linked to various types of chronic diseases including: cancer, heart disease, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and many more. Living in the Northeast puts individuals at further risk of deficiency because sunlight, a major source of Vitamin D, is not produced in our bodies more than 6 months out of the year!
5. A sufficient antioxidant (such as OPC-3): Antioxidants play a role in scavenging free radical that are produced by normal daily activities and environmental factors – stress, air pollution, exercise, poor diet, lack of sleep, etc. They also demonstrate anti-inflammatory activity, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, help maintain joint flexibility, improve asthma/allergy symptoms, improve complexion, and much more!
I also recommend the following:
4. Conjugated Linoleic Acid: This supplement helps to reduce overall body fat, assists in promoting lean muscle mass, targets stubborn belly fat, and promotes the utilization of body fat as fuel.
5. Calcium: Protecting bone mass is critical…especially for women. Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life is important to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, support your cardiovascular health, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and maintains healthy immune functions and general wellbeing.
These are some of my top strategies for helping you to get into awesome shape. Trust me, these strategies work fantastically if they’re consistently applied.
For other ideas and suggestions visit: www.lifestylenutritionvt.com or feel free to contact me with any questions.
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD
Nutrition - The Key to Achieving Your Goals
Just as exercise is medicine, so is food. And just as it’s possible to dig your grave with your own knife and fork, it’s also possible to prevent and treat disease as well as improve your body with your utensils.
Unfortunately, most people are never very honest about what their knives and forks are doing. In fact, a speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil approach is usually taken. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard one of these lines, I’d be a very wealthy gal.
“I eat really well…”
“…I’m still 20lbs overweight.”
“My diet is perfect…”
“…I often feel sluggish and my energy is low.”
“I make good nutritional choices…”
“…I’ve got high blood pressure, cholesterol, and type II diabetes.”
Obviously these are all fibs. If you ate really well, if your diet was perfect, or if you made good nutritional choices, these would not be problems. So, the best way for you to get started in improving your diet is to follow these five rules:
1. Eat about 4 – 5x a day and don’t wait so long between meals.
Research has demonstrated that those people who eat more frequently tend to have better blood sugar control, lower stress hormone production, lower body fat, and more lean muscle. But their food has to be the right stuff.
2. Include lean protein sources at every meal and snack. Examples: Meats, all-natural nut butters, plain non-fat yogurt (add berries or fruit of your own) or non-fat Greek yogurt such as Chobani, hardboiled eggs, nuts or seeds, reduced fat cheese sticks, edamame (soy beans), beans such as kidney, chickpeas, black beans, all-natural protein bars (look for high fiber, high protein and watch the fat content >6g fat is too much!)
The ideal amount of protein per day for an exercising individual is 1 gram per pound of body weight. For a 140 lb woman, that’d be 140 g of protein. Getting this much means grabbing some protein every time you snack or eat a meal.
3. Include veggies at every meal and snack.
The ideal amount of veggies each day is about 8 servings. Now, the every meal thing isn’t necessary. But it’s quite tough to get all these servings if you don’t include some cooked, raw, juiced, or blended veggies with each meal.
4. Include a variety of healthy fats.
Our food supply today contains an abundance of unhealthy fat sources. To get our fat intake back to where it should be, we need to include things like olive oil, avocados, flax oil, fish oil, raw nuts, etc. each day.
5. Consume carbohydrate-rich foods only after exercise.
Carbs aren’t the enemy. But they should be controlled — especially for women — since it’s easy to over eat them. The best strategy to control carbs is to eat mostly whole grain carbohydrates (like amaranth, quinoa, whole grain oats, etc.) and to save them until after exercise. Since exercise increases our body’s ability to effectively utilize carbohydrates, the ideal time to eat some whole grains is within the first few hours post exercise.
These “rules” are a great start. But they won’t get the job done alone. In fact, there are two other secrets to helping you look and feel healthier.
Other Food Ideas
The first is a lesson we can take from the Okinawans, called hara hachi bu. In Okinawa, heart disease and stroke rates are lower than in North America. So are cholesterol, homocysteine, and blood pressure measures. Rates of cancer are lower as well – especially breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer. Hip fractures are lower and dementia is rare. Plus the Okinawans tend to live longer.
What’s their secret? Hara hachi bu. Roughly translated this means eating only until you’re 80% full. And no more. Now, this isn’t a dietary suggestion. Rather, it’s part of their culture. Anyone who stuffs themselves is considered a glutton. In the end, many experts believe that this cultural practice, in conjunction with the Okinawan diet rich in fruits and veggies, fish, and legumes is the secret of their success.
The other thing that’ll help you look your best? If you have a male partner, make sure his portion sizes don’t impact yours. If you live and/or dine with a male partner, chances are you automatically overeat simply because you two are eating together.
Think about dinners out. You are served the same portions. Yet you’re likely not the same size. Do you really think that you need to eat the same amount as he does? Only if you want to weigh the same as him, I guess. And the same goes for meals at home. I bet you serve meals on the same size plate for both of you. That’s another recipe for overeating.
To help prevent his portions from influencing yours, there are a few strategies you should adopt immediately.
First, when at restaurants, ask if they’ll accommodate small potion sizes. He gets the normal size, you get the smaller one. And if that doesn’t work, here’s something else I do. I order what I want. Then I tell the server to split it into two, boxing up one half for later. This way I get two meals for the price of one.
Next, at home, make sure you have two different size plates: One large one for the man of the house, and one small one for the women or children. Then you can fill all the plates, none of them look sad and empty, and all of you eat an appropriate portion.
Next time I'll be discussing the last component of transitioning your body - proper supplementation. In the meantime, begin with making small changes in your dietary intake. What can you commit to this week?
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD
There’s a lot of information bouncing around the internet suggesting how we should train, eat and supplement to get in the best shape of our lives. A lot of it is really great. However, very few authors have put an entire program together for you — one that tells you how to train, how to eat, and how to supplement. To help you cut through all the nonsense, let’s get right down to it. Over the next week, I'll share the information you need to achieve the results you've been looking for.
I love this quote:
“Movement is medicine for changing a person’s physical, emotional, and mental state.”
Indeed, recent research has demonstrated that exercise is more effective in treating depression than antidepressant medications! Beyond that, we all know that exercise helps us lose weight and build lean muscle. Wow! Exercise helps reshape the body, brighten the spirits, and sharpen the mind. I’m sold! How about you?
The biggest question I get about exercise is: “What type of exercise should I do?” Well, for starters, any exercise is better than none. The best exercise is the kind of exercise you’ll actually do. But if you want to really reshape your body, you’ll need to do mostly high intensity exercise.
Two types of high intensity exercise work best.
While most of us think of strength training as something reserved for bodybuilders and strongmen, nothing could be farther from the truth. While strength training can be done in the gym with weights, it also can be done with dumbbells, sandbags, old tractor tires, exercise bands, or even your own body weight. And all of this can be done at home, at a local park, or at a community center. The real key is challenging your body through six key movement patterns:
Be creative with this and most importantly, have fun! Let me know if you need some ideas - I have tons of great strength training workouts that are both challenging and effective.
In addition to strength exercise, you should also include some conditioning exercise, often referred to as cardio. Now, although most people think of long jogs, bike rides, or the Stairmaster, this type of exercise is not all that effective. Indeed, high intensity interval exercise, in which you work really hard for 20-90 seconds, rest, work hard again, rest again, has been shown to be the most effective form of conditioning work.
Below are two examples of my favorite forms of conditioning exercise: interval circuits.
1.) 30 seconds each of the following:
- Ball Toss
- Flying lunge
- T – Push-ups
- Leg lunges
2.) Treadmill intervals
Try to do this for 5 total minutes. Then, take a 5 minute rest and do it all over again. In total, it’s a 15-minute workout. And believe it or not, this workout is way more effective at burning fat and improving her conditioning than 45-60 minutes of walking or jogging!
Thus, my recommendation: in addition to the 3 weight training workouts per week, add in 1 circuit workout and 1 sprint workout, at least at first.
You probably think of your exercise time in terms of single workouts - “60 minutes three times per week”. I encourage you to think of it in terms of total time per week.
Research that has been done in conjunction with the University of Wyoming has demonstrated that 5 hours per week is the magic number. Anything less fails to produce results while 5 hours or more of exercise produces great results.
To reach the 5 hour threshold, and to help you recover from this high intensity work, finish your week with some very low intensity cardio work: Walk around the block. Go for a bike ride. That’s the sort of stuff I mean. Lower intensity yoga counts too. 30 minutes 3x per week should do the trick.
Tune in next time where I’ll discuss the nutritional component of the puzzle. Take it upon yourself today to commit to some form of exercise on a daily basis. You’ll be glad you did!
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD
The US Deptartment of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines recommend 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day for a 2000-calorie diet. Think about what you ate yesterday. Did you eat enough fruits and vegetables? If not, it's time for a change. Including fruits and vegetables is essential for overall health and wellness. Here is a list of the benefits of including fruits and vegetables in your diet...
The benefits of fruits and vegetables
- Promoting long-term maintenance of a health body weight
- Providing essential vitamins and minerals that your body need to function every day
- Giving you fiber that keeps your digestive tract healthy and helps protect against diseases such as diverticulosis
- Possibly preventing some types of cancer and chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, cataract formation, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
These health benefits are even more pronounced when consuming a wide variety of produce, in particular, dark, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, and deep-yellow-orange fruits and vegetables. While some people are happy to have a salad and a few pieces of fruit every day, you may prefer to integrate fruits and vegetables into your usual meals. Whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it is always possible to add more fruits and vegetables.
The following is the same as 1 C of fruits or vegetables:
- One piece of fruit
- 2 cups of raw leafy greens
- 1 cup of other chopped fruit or raw/cooked vegetables
The size of your fist or a baseball is approximately 1 cup. According to the USDA, this is about 12 baby carrots or 32 grapes.
Here are some tips for integrating fruits or vegetables into your meals and snacks.
- Include a piece of fruit in the morning, along with your toast w/peanut butter and coffee/tea.
- Add two handfuls of berries to your morning cereal.
- Add chopped vegetables, such as tomato, mushrooms, onion, spinach, or peppers to your scrambled eggs or omelette.
- Add fresh fruit, such as banana or berries to your pancakes or french toast recipe. Tope with sliced apples and fresh plain or Greek yogurt.
- Make your own fresh-fruit smoothie with some skim milk or yogurt or ice. Add some vegetables as well such as cucumber, cilantro, or tomato for a mild flavor and extra nutrients.
- If you drink juice, make sure it is 100% juice without added sugars or fillers.
- Top your sandwiches with lots of fresh vegetables, such as romaine lettuce or spinach, tomato, onions, sprouts, mushrooms, or fresh red pepper. These add fresh flavor and a nice crunch.
- Choose soups loaded with vegetables such as minestrone, chicken with vegetables, or carrot ginger. Add a handful of spinach and/or broccoli for an added boost and texture.
- Bring along a handful of baby carrots, celery spears with peanut butter, or a piece of fruit to much on with your lunch.
- Consider adding fruit to your salads, such as apples, pears or oranges for a sweet and fresh taste!
- Add some chopped vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, or peppers to your baked sweet potato. Garnish with a sprinkle of reduced fat Cabot cheddar cheese. Yum!
- Buy a bag of spinach and throw a handful on top of any of your dinners as a colorful garnish. The heat of the food will wilt the spinach so it blends into your food and becomes a healthy additon with little extra effort.
- Roast vegetables while you cook. Slice some vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, onions, and sweet potatoes, rub them with a little olive oil and spices, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, depedning on thickness, while you cook the rest of your meal.
- The 7-minute potato: Poke a bunch of holes in a sweet potato with a fork. Place it in the microwave on high for 6-7 minutes, turning the potato once halfway through cooking. Cut it open and top with some cinnamon and non-fat Greek yogurt.
- If you are in the mood for pizza, buy one slice loaded with vegetables instead of two or three plain slices. Have a salad on the side.
- If you're in the mood for Chinese, chooose an option that has "mixed vegetables" or "broccolie" in the name.
- If you're in the mood for mexican, make sure to add beans, peppers, onions, and any other extra vegetables that you have such as tomato, cilantro or fresh salsa.
The simple act of integrating fruits and vegetables into meals can help you to become more satisfied with less amounts of food and stay fuller longer. This is due to the fiber, water, and high-nutrient content of the fruits and vegetables. By gradually making these additions each day, you'll be amazed at what even the smallest dietary changes can do to positively improve your health. Do yourself a favor today and choose one meal to add fruits and vegetables. You'll be glad you did!
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD, Nutrition Specialist and Owner of Lifestyle Management & Nutrition, received her Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Vermont. Upon graduation in 2003 she spent four years providing nutrition education and counseling to local Vermonters. In 2007 she returned to the University of Vermont to complete a two-year Master's program in Dietetics and Nutrition. She is now practicing as a Registered Dietitian at Essex Physical Therapy located in Essex Center, Vermont.